The American Horticultural Society, 1882.
O painter of the fruits and flowers,
We own wise design,
Where these human hands of ours
May share work of Thine!
Apart from Thee we plant in vain
The root and sow the seed;
Thy early and Thy later rain,
Thy sun and dew we need.
Our toil is sweet with thankfulness,
Our burden is our boon;
The curse of Earth’s gray morning is
The blessing of its noon.
Why search the wide world everywhere
For Eden’s unknown ground?
That garden of the primal pair
May nevermore be found.
But, blest by Thee, our patient toil
May right the ancient wrong,
And give to every clime and soil
The beauty lost so long.
Our homestead flowers and fruited trees
May Eden’s orchard shame;
We taste the tempting sweets of these
Like Eve, without her blame.
And, North and South and East and West,
The pride of every zone,
The fairest, rarest, and the best
May all be made our own.
Its earliest shrines the young world sought
In hill-groves and in bowers,
The fittest offerings thither brought
Were Thy own fruits and flowers.
And still with reverent hands we cull
Thy gifts each year renewed;
The good is always beautiful,
The beautiful is good.